We’ve all heard that old saying, “You only have one chance to make a first impression.” Well, the same goes for your smile. If you’re not taking care of your teeth and practicing good dental habits, you could be ruining your smile — and your chances of making a good first impression. Here are seven bad dental habits that you need to break ASAP.
1. Not brushing your teeth regularly.
This one is pretty obvious, but it bears repeating. You should be brushing your teeth at least twice a day for two minutes each time. If you’re not doing this, you’re not doing enough to remove plaque and bacteria from your teeth and gums. This can lead to tooth decay and gum disease.
If you don’t brush your teeth regularly, you’re not doing yourself any favors. Not only will your teeth suffer, but your overall health can be affected as well. Gum disease has been linked to a variety of health problems such as:
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Oral cancer
- Heart disease
2. Brushing your teeth too hard.
You might think that brushing your teeth harder will make them cleaner, but that’s not the case. In fact, brushing too hard can actually damage your teeth and gums. When you brush too hard, you can wear down the enamel on your teeth and cause your gums to recede. This can lead to sensitivity and a greater risk of tooth decay.
Neglecting your oral health can lead to a host of problems down the road.
But what exactly happens if you brush your teeth too hard? According to the American Dental Association, brushing too hard can cause:
- Enamel wear – This is the hard, outer layer of your teeth that protects them from decay. When you brush too hard, you can wear down this layer and expose your teeth to bacteria and acids. Overzealous brushing wears down enamel, which is the human body’s hardest substance. When your tooth’s enamel is worn away, it becomes more sensitive and susceptible to cavities.
- Gum recession – This is when your gums start to pull away from your teeth. This can happen if you brush too hard or use a toothbrush with bristles that are too stiff. Gum recession can cause the roots of your teeth to be exposed, which can lead to sensitivity and an increased chance of tooth decay.
To avoid damaging your teeth, use a soft-bristled toothbrush and apply gentle pressure. The key is to be gentle but thorough.
3. Not flossing regularly.
Flossing is just as important as brushing your teeth. It helps remove plaque and bacteria from areas that your toothbrush can’t reach. If you don’t floss regularly, you’re missing out on a crucial step in keeping your smile healthy.
In addition to causing cavities and gum disease, not flossing can also lead to bad breath. This is because of the plaque and bacteria that build up in your mouth release foul-smelling toxins. If you want to avoid bad breath, make sure to floss at least once a day.
4. Eating sugary foods and drinks.
We all know that sugary foods and drinks are bad for our teeth, but we often don’t realize just how much damage they can do. When sugar comes into contact with your teeth, it produces acids that eat away at your tooth enamel. Over time, this can lead to cavities and other serious dental problems.
If you want to keep your teeth healthy, it’s important to limit your intake of sugary foods and drinks. Try to brush your teeth or rinse your mouth with water after eating or drinking anything sweet. And of course, regular visits to the dentist are essential for keeping your smile in top shape.
5. Smoking cigarettes or using other tobacco products.
Smoking is one of the worst things you can do for your teeth. It not only increases your risk of cavities and gum disease, but it also stains your teeth and causes bad breath. If you want to keep your smile healthy, it’s best to avoid tobacco products altogether.
Is smoking a cause of gum disease? Yes, absolutely. In fact, weakens your immune system. This makes you more susceptible to gum disease and other infections.
What does this signify if I’m a smoker?
- You are twice as likely to develop gum disease vs. non-smokers.
- The more cigarettes you smoke, the more likely you are to get gum disease.
- Gum disease treatments may not be as successful in smokers.
If you’re a smoker, quitting is the best thing you can do for your health – and your teeth. There are a variety of resources available to help you quit, so there’s no excuse not to try.
6. Drinking alcohol in excess.
While a glass of wine or beer with dinner isn’t going to cause any harm, excessive drinking can lead to all sorts of dental problems. For one thing, it can dry out your mouth, which leads to an increased risk of gum disease and tooth decay. It can also stain your teeth, and make them more susceptible to breakage. If you want to enjoy a drink or two without damaging your smile, make sure to stay within the recommended limits.
Heavy drinkers are more likely to develop gum disease, which can lead to tooth loss. Alcohol effects on teeth are more severe when combined with other risk factors, like smoking. If you drink heavily, it’s important to see your dentist regularly so they can catch any problems early on.
7. Skipping regular dental checkups.
It’s important to visit your dentist for regular checkups and cleanings, even if you think your teeth are healthy. This is because your dentist can spot problems that you may not be aware of, and they can also give your teeth a professional cleaning that you can’t do at home. If you don’t visit the dentist regularly, you’re increasing your risk of developing dental problems.
If you’re guilty of any of the bad dental habits on our list, it’s time to break them! Neglecting your oral health can lead to a host of problems down the road. Here at iSmile Dental Centre, we can help you get on track to a healthy smile with our range of services. Contact us today to book an appointment and let us help you achieve and maintain your perfect smile!